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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sport Sunday: Roma, Golf, Nadal and Totti at the Beach

In California:  The Amgen Tour of California starts on Sunday, featuring seven stages in it's twelfth year of competition.  This year, for the first time, the race has achieved the WorldTour designation on the UCI calendar, and the race is ready to roll out of Sacramento on May 14. Along the way, the race will visit iconic southern California beach towns, spend a day or two in the mountains and then storm into downtown Pasadena on May 20 for the finish and ensuing celebrations.  Stage five will see the climb to Mt. Baldy, and annual feature, it seems, of the race.  12 teams will compete this year, including Bora-Hansgrohe.  Their rider, Peter Sagan, has been called the "King of California," as he loves this race, and the Californians love this free wheeling champion Slovak.  Meanwhile back in the south, the Giro d'Italia continues today in southern Italy, with tomorrow being a rest day. 

In Rome:  Rome's Foro Italico will host the Rome International BNL of Tennis this week, with Final Qualifying rounds taking place today.    Italian veteran Fabio Fognini will face countryman Matteo Berrattini in one of the five men’s singles matches taking place on the opening day of the main draw at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The winner of this match will face defending champion and world No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round.  The all-Italian clash is not the only all-country affair on Sunday as Germany’s Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber play each other on Next Gen Arena. Center Court action begins at noon on Sunday, a meeting between Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and American Donald Young, both lefthanders. Verdasco has won on the three previous occasions in which the two have met.  

In Florida, in the USA, the Players Golf Championship wraps up today, at The Players Stadium Course is TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  as of Saturday, Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley were in the lead, both at 9 under par.  The overall purse in the event is 10.5 million dollars.  

NBA Conference finals will begin tomorrow, at least that is for one conference, the other finals teams have not yet been set.  The Golden State Warriors play at home vs. the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday afternoon.  The Eastern Conference Finals teams are not yet set.  The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in the finals, eventually will play the winner of Game 7 of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards playoff  match, which will finally decide who advances on Monday evening. The Wizards were able to win Friday night's game to keep their hopes alive, tying the record 3-3.  

In Serie A Soccer action, in Italy, Roma meets Juventus Sunday evening, and both sides are seeking a win with ulterior motives.  Second-placed AS Roma host leaders Juventus in Serie A this evening but rather than thinking about trying to catch the runaway leaders they will be looking over their shoulders at their rivals Napoli, over whom they have one point.  A first or second place finish means an automatic Champions League berth.  Juventus need only a point to wrap up their sixth successive title.  Third place means no automatic bid, but instead  a spot in the final playoff round.  Italian team have not done well in these playoffs.   Juventus Coach Miassimiliano Allegri wants the Champions League question settled, so they can prepare for this years final against Real Madrid, and Wednesday's Coppa Italia final. 
Roma has been winning lately, but has become disrupted by controversy.  40 year-old Francesco Totti has been a key player for Roma since his teen age years, but the administration last week announced that he would stop playing at the end of the season and move to a boardroom role.  Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti has been imbroigled in this intrigue.  He has severely limited Totti's play this season to celebrity appearances, off or on the field, and been rather nasty in doing it, perhaps engineering the announcement of the much beloved Totti retirement.  Totti, with characteristic good humor, has joked about being able to play for the indefinite future, before saying he might talk about things.  Totti is forecast, by all reliable sources, to be around Roma much longer than Luciano Spalletti and his brutta figura... 

1 comment:

Xersex said...

love Francesco Totti